Qaddafi fighting back?

posted at 8:45 am on August 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

After a day of almost uninterrupted good news for Libyan rebels in Tripoli, CNN now reports that some have begun to pull back.  Moammar Qaddafi’s troops have apparently started a counteroffensive, but Qaddafi himself is nowhere to be found:

The 42-year rule of Moammar Gadhafi appeared on the verge of collapse Monday, with rebel supporters making it to the same Tripoli square where regime loyalists had congregated for month.

But in a possible indication that the fight is not over, celebrations in Tripoli’s Green Square gave way to tension Monday morning after rebels told CNN that they’d heard Gadhafi army forces were heading their way. CNN could not confirm any movement of Gadhafi forces.

Given all of the earlier reports of encirclement of Tripoli, a new offensive from Qaddafi would have to be a last-gasp effort to break through and retreat out of the capital.  The regime doesn’t appear to have the support of Tripoli’s residents, at least not from coverage of the areas that rebels now control.  If Qaddafi stands and fights for very long under these conditions, he’ll get annihilated.  Assuming he’s even still in Tripoli, Qaddafi needs to find a way out of the capital and try to link to other regime troops to continue his war.

If Qaddafi thought exile might be another option, world leaders overnight have mostly closed off that choice.  European leaders have demanded that Qaddafi turn himself in to The Hague:

World leaders said Monday the end is near for the regime of Moammar Gadhafi and called on the Libyan leader to relinquish power, as hundreds of Libyans living abroad celebrated in the streets after rebels took control of most of the Libyan capital.

With events unfolding quickly and clashes reported Monday near Gadhafi’s compound in Tripoli, leaders across European capitals urged Gadhafi to avoid a bloodbath of his own people and turn himself in to the International Criminal Court.

Yes, I’m sure that Qaddafi will be pitching a tent at the ICC any day now.  The likelihood of that is about the same as it was for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq when George Bush gave him 48 hours to flee.  Qaddafi wouldn’t have turned to Europe to arrange asylum anyway, but reaction from Russia and South Africa suggest that Qaddafi’s options for flight have begun to narrow:

South Africa — which has criticized the NATO bombing and led failed African Union efforts to mediate between the rebels and Gadhafi — insisted it had sent no planes to Libya to evacuate Gadhafi. It said it had received no request from him for asylum, and was involved in no efforts to extricate him.

“I’m quite amazed that there’s even an insinuation that we are facilitating evacuation of anyone,” said Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. She said that “for sure, he will not ask to come here” and noted that South Africa is an International Criminal Court member — in an apparent implication that South Africa would have to arrest Gadhafi if he arrived there. …

In Russia, Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, told the Interfax news agency that “the situation for Gaddafi has passed the point of no return.”

So where would Qaddafi go?  Qaddafi’s best bet for asylum, Hugo Chavez, is seriously ill, and Qaddafi would have to find a way to get to Venezuela first.  The other Arab nations won’t want him; he wasn’t exactly popular among the Arab League when he had total power in Libya, and his presence would ignite protests that the other dictators don’t need.  He’s probably going to try to cross a border anonymously — or as anonymously as Qaddafi can make himself — and hide somewhere in north Africa until he can find a flight or ship to South America.  That is, he’ll do that unless the rebels catch him first.

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Obama is going to be pissed.

The Ruling class has spoken.

Caliphate led by the Turks is in the works. Muhammar need to go. Assad yous next.

PappyD61 on August 22, 2011 at 8:52 AM

How many more “days” will this war last? What’s it been so far, 8 or 9 days at least?

Bishop on August 22, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Or not….

NickDeringer on August 22, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Sudan is a likely place as is Zimbabwe. He is friends with Mad Bob Mugagbe.

William Amos on August 22, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Since all the reporting on this war has been pure shiite, who knows if there are even rebel soldiers in Tripoli?!!!!

Kermit on August 22, 2011 at 8:59 AM

spider hole ready?

cmsinaz on August 22, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Gaddafi is as tenacious as a Tasmanian Devil.

joe btfsplk on August 22, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Fighting back or are the rats on the ship fighting their way out of Dodge?

Limerick on August 22, 2011 at 9:08 AM

I say Chad will welcome him. He supported that corrupt government over the years. Then again, the concept of a hanging chad might deter him.


honsy on August 22, 2011 at 9:10 AM

someone mentioned NK. but damn, those people are starving. who would want to go there?

kelley in virginia on August 22, 2011 at 9:12 AM

so South America sounds most luxurious for him. will he take the Lockerbie bomber with him? that guy deserves his own public hanging

kelley in virginia on August 22, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Kermit on August 22, 2011 at 8:59 AM

I hear you. I was watching some coverage last night and they were talking about celebrations in Tripoli, but it turned out they were running video from Benghazi. Something big is going on, but I don’t know that anybody really knows exactly what it is.

forest on August 22, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Better alive than dead. My concern is that he goes out after giving some terror group his treasure map. Gaddaffyduck alive isn’t smart enough to keep his yap shut.

Limerick on August 22, 2011 at 9:34 AM

I want to know what happened to K’Daffy’s Amazonian Guard.

cartooner on August 22, 2011 at 9:36 AM

There’s only one place that would accept Mohammar. It’s the only haven a scoundrel like that can go.

San Francisco.

Nethicus on August 22, 2011 at 9:41 AM

If it wasn’t costing us money, and if I thought they had some ethical beliefs about war in that region of the world (ahem), I’d push for this thing to go on forever.

mankai on August 22, 2011 at 9:47 AM

He’s a murderous dictator and Algeria is right next door, helloo.
Euro zone news has said most of his family is already there and he’s been transferring cash like mad the last few days.

There seems to some confusion as to whether he’s even alive which dead is by far the better option.

He’s more than dull witted and arrogant enough to try returning.

Of course if he is in Algeria we can have him assassinated for five bucks.

Speakup on August 22, 2011 at 9:48 AM

And The Next Chapter Unfolds.

Now that it appears the war in Libya is about to wind down there might be a few questions that need asking. Don’t be looking for any answers never mind the questions in you Main Stream Media source.

As background it might be helpful to review a previous posting from May;

At present there are at least two other events on the horizon that attention may turn too now that the logistic capabilities of supporting the so-called rebels in Libya can be freed up.

The first and seemingly most immediate would be Syria, with both the President and Secretary of State Clinton issuing demands for President Assad’s resignation. Given the growing tension between Israel and Egypt over the recent attacks in Israel and the unpredictable nature of how the rest of the Arab world would react to a “kinetic action” against Syria in the heart of the region any such action might be more might be biting of more than the Administration is willing to chew. If such an action were to be undertaken it could be almost guaranteed that Syria would launch an attack against Israel in order to try and bring other Arab states and perhaps Iran into the conflict on it’s side. At which point all bets would be off and the conflagration would spin out of control faster than a drunken Lindsey Lohan in a jewelry store.

With an Administration palpably desperate to find a distraction from the consequences of its disastrous economic policies and with the financial elites equally desperate to keep the ponzi fraud of the markets alive, one Hugo Chavez comes to mind. The parallels between Chavez’s statements about desiring to create a gold backed monetary system for Latin America independent of the collapsing US dollar and Kaddafi’s wanting to create a “Gold Dinar” for settlement of oil contracts is unmistakable and undeniable. Hence the reason you won’t see anything about it in the MSM.

Understanding that the US already has a sizeable military and intelligence logistics presence right next door in Columbia and there already exist tensions along the border over allegations of Columbian and possibly US troops crossing that border in pursuit of Columbian FARC insurgents the table may be already set for the next act in this Orwellian nightmare. Add in huge oil reserves and that the US imports large amounts of it, exclusively to California, and the temptation for the Machiavellians may be too much to pass up.

All this is speculation of course but when and if you here the propaganda machine that Polish err Venezuelan troops have cross the border and that American troops have been killed defending the Reich, err Columbia then maybe you will understand just what fools we are being played for.

The only question then will be whether the American people will be in the streets protesting against being deprived of house, home, jobs and food or reacting to Kabuki Theater in the jungles of Columbia. The powers that be won’t really care which, as either one will allow for further ratcheting up of government control, depriving us of even more liberties in the name of security.

Before the FED, JP Morgan, the B of E, the BIS begin congratulating themselves about shutting down Kaddafi and perhaps securing his 143.8 tons of gold to cover their short positions on the COMEX they might want to first find out how much of that gold is still in Tripoli and how much has already been moved to Caracas.

LCT688 on August 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

I’ll take bets that he’ll hide out in Dearborn.

Don L on August 22, 2011 at 9:59 AM

I, personally,don’t trust anything that comes from the street. Those people could be just undergoing an instant conversion to the new power – to save their own necks. If Qaddafi were to make a comeback, they would swap again.

OldEnglish on August 22, 2011 at 9:59 AM

State TV has just gone black.

Limerick on August 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

State TV has just gone black.

Limerick on August 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Damn. I’m gonna miss MSNBC.

mankai on August 22, 2011 at 10:35 AM

I’ll take bets that he’ll hide out in Dearborn.

Don L

You mean Dearbornistan? :)

honsy on August 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Where is this counter-offensive being marshalled from? If it is outside of Tripoli, they could well encircle all those Green Square cheering rebels – and obliterate them; that the imminent fall of the Capitol was a trap…?

ss396 on August 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Surrender, Dorothy.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

I’ve got a plaid scarf that I will wrap like a kifaya. Will that do?

Let the retribution begin!

[email protected] on August 22, 2011 at 12:45 PM

I’ve often wondered if we, the World, the UN, whatever, should offer a location for tyrants to be exiled to and be safe. Switzerland maybe, a one-way entry. That would certainly end some of these wars of r-word more peacefully, though it also allows them to escape justice. It’s a questionable compromise.

slickwillie2001 on August 22, 2011 at 12:52 PM